How to informally measure the safety culture on your team

by on September 4, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

OSHA doesn’t investigate every complaint it receives. But once someone complains, you’re at a much higher risk, depending on the nature of the complaint.

Here are two of OSHA’s priorities that frontline supervisors can control:

1. Someone is injured, and complains to OSHA that the hazardous condition still exists. OSHA makes this a high priority. If they inspect and see the hazard isn’t changed, the COs are likely to issue a willful citation.

Action step: When someone gets hurt on the job and it requires a change – either in procedures, PPE or engineering controls – make that clear to your safety director. At that point, a work order becomes a much higher priority and getting it fixed will likely prevent an OSHA complaint or fine. (The same lessons apply if no one is hurt, but the complaint concerns an imminent danger.)

2. Inadequate response. When OSHA receives a complaint, it contacts the company and asks for an explanation and remediation.

As supervisor, you can generate a quick response by fixing the problem. Example: Some companies have installed temporary machine guards while the permanent ones are on order. The key is to demonstrate to OSHA (and employees) you take the issue seriously.

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